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National Curriculum: Measurement - Year 4 - Activities

Created on 17 October 2013 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 09 April 2014 by ncetm_administrator


Programme of Study statements Activities
convert between different units of measure (e.g. kilometre to metre; hour to minute) bullet      
measure and calculate the perimeter of a rectilinear figure (including squares) in centimetres and metres   bullet    
find the area of rectilinear shapes by counting squares   bullet    
estimate, compare and calculate different measures, including money in pounds and pence     bullet  
read, write and convert time between analogue and digital 12 and 24-hour clocks       bullet
solve problems involving converting from hours to minutes; minutes to seconds; years to months; weeks to days       bullet

Activity set A

(i) You could copy these units onto card and cut them out to give to the children to match:

1kg 750g 1l 224ml 1km 500m 2550g 1245cm 10050l
1m 10cm 25mm 6kg 75g 1.75kg 1.224l 12m 45cm
103mm 1500m 2.65l 2l 650ml 2cm 5mm 1750g
2.55kg 6.075kg 10l 50ml 6075g 12l 450ml 2l 650ml
12450ml 10.05l 12.45m 1.45l 1.5km 1.10cm
2.5cm 10.3cm 1.1m 1224ml 2kg 500g 10cm 3mm

(ii) You could ask the children to work in groups of 4 or 5. Each child will need a piece of modelling clay or plasticine. Time them for 30 seconds while they roll their plasticine into the longest ‘worm’ that they can. After 30 seconds, they place their ‘worms’ in order from shortest to longest. They estimate the shortest worm and write their estimate down in both centimetres and millimetres, e.g. 54mm, 5.4cm. Then they measure it, write that down in centimetres and millimetres and then work out the difference between their estimate and the actual measurement. They use this measurement to estimate the length of the next worm. Then measure it and so on for all the ‘worms’.

Activity set B

You could give the children problems similar to these:

  • Sophie would like to build a rectangular patio in her garden. She wants the area of her patio to be 24m2.

    What to do:

    • Think about the possible sizes that Sophie’s patio could be. Write these down.
    • Draw some designs using these sizes.
    • Draw these to a scale of 1cm = 1m.
    • Use another piece of paper if you need more room.
    • Measure accurately using your ruler. Label the measurements
    • Once you have drawn your rectangles, check to make sure the areas are correct.
    • Work out the perimeters of each shape using the formula 2(a x b).
  • Sam has been given a large area of land. He would like to build a stable for his horse on part of it. He wants it to be rectangular with a perimeter of 50m.

    What to do:

    • On paper work out some of the possible areas for Sam’s stable. Write them down.
    • On a piece of squared paper, sketch some designs using these sizes.
    • Use the scale of 1cm = 1m. Remember to label them.
    • Once you have drawn your rectangles, check to make sure the perimeters are correct.
    • Work out the areas of each shape in the most efficient way you can.

You might like to give the children the ‘Area and Perimeter’ problem from Nrich which asks them to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.

Or this one: ‘Numerically Equal’ which asks the children to draw a square with the same numerical values for its perimeter and its area

Activity set C

(Firstly, ensure that you, yourself, are very clear about the difference between volume and capacity. It is important that you are able to explain clearly and model use of the language correctly.)

You could ask the children to work in groups of four and carry out this activity

  • Collect 4 different containers from around the classroom. They all need to look different.
  • As a group estimate the capacity of one of your containers.
  • Write your estimate on paper in litres and also millilitres.
  • Measure the amount you estimated into a measuring jug and see if it fills the container.
  • If your estimate was not correct. Find out how the actual capacity of the container. Add this information to the table.
  • Repeat this for the other 3 containers.

You could give groups of children some sand, weighing scales, a book and some plastic bags and ask them to try out this activity:

  • Sara says: I can make three different masses using bags of sand. These will help me estimate the mass of a dictionary.
  • What do you think?
  • How are you going to find out?
  • Do you agree with Sara?

You could ask the children problems within the context of money. Ask them to estimate their answers first by rounding the money to the nearest pound. For example:

  • Leona saved £50. She wants to buy a music player for £23.48. She also wants to download music from the internet. This will cost £9.67. Does she have enough money left to buy some headphones at £8.96?
  • Paul and Lisa were making a list of food they would like to buy for their party. This is their list so far with the prices for the amounts they need:


    Food Price
    French Sticks £4.45
    Doughnuts £9.99
    Tubs of ice cream £15.25
    Pizzas £42.80
    Samosas £4.50
    Cheese sticks £10.75

    They have £75. How much more money do they need to buy everything on this list?

  • Billy had 10 coins. They totalled £4.50. What coins could they be? How many possibilities can you find?

Activity set D

You could give the children problems similar to these and ask them to solve them using a number line:

  • Cherri went strawberry picking. She began at 10:20 and was picking strawberries for 2 hours 45 minutes. When did she finish?
  • Adnan spent 1 hour 55 minutes at the gym. She left at 16:30. When did she get there?
  • The twins went to the beach. They arrived at 11:50 and left at 17:15. How long were they at the beach for?
  • Zeina and Mona left for school at 07:15. They spent the day working hard. They got home at 17:05. How long were they away from home?
  • Brent and Chris were gardening. They started at 13:25. Brent finished at 15:55. Chris carried on for another hour and ten minutes. For how long was Chris gardening?

Next, ask the children to make up and solve some problems of their own.


You could give the children opportunities use their mental calculation skills of, for example, addition, subtraction, multiplication, doubling and halving to deduce new information about units of time:



You could repeat this for days in different numbers of weeks, months in different numbers of years and so on.


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